Kimberly Gravlin

University of New Hampshire

Political Science & French


Mentor: Dr. Andrew Smith,  Department of Political Science

From White Majority To A Minority Majority: Analyzing The Changing Population Demographics In California And Arizona

The conversation about immigration today has largely surrounded undocumented Latino immigrants, as they are the core ethnic group of undocumented immigrants in the country. The influx of these immigrants has been primarily into southwestern states but has also occurred to a lesser extent in many other states. Over several decades, Latinos have become a considerable portion of these states’ communities, as Latinos continue to go through the naturalization process and have children in the United States who are citizens (Ramírez 2015) (Rex 2011). Consequently, politicization, or the act of becoming politically aware, naturally follows suit, as time goes on. Moreover, the impact of this politicization and the increased number of Latinos in a given population will likely affect state’s electorate, as this has been the case in the past with other large-scale immigration of racial or ethnic groups in other regions of the United States. California is a microcosm of the nation. The state’s white population is gradually becoming the minority race due to the significant increase in the number of Latino immigrants, as well as other factors. Arizona is another state with a considerable number of Latino immigrants and seems to be following the same trend as California. The difference between the two is the timeframe in which this has occurred and is occurring. California is an earlier case, while significant immigration to Arizona took place many years later. This allows for the comparison of trends between the two time periods. It is also important to study both states’ changing population demographics and effects on their electorates because political changes will happen first at the state level in this area long before it will have a considerable impact on the national electorate.


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